It's not really much of a campsite here in this early Sunday morning picture, but it's Oshkosh(!), so I'm off-the-scale happy. Even with all the mud and challenges that have hit the last stages of getting this event up and running, it feels really good to be back at Wittman Field! I'm thinking that in another day or so it should like a lot more like home.
You can see from this pic that the heavy rains from a few days ago have really left their mark on the campground. Even tho this is a Sunday morning view, most of the campground is much better than this. However, it is a sloppy mess over a lot of the grounds. They actually starting turning away the large motorhomes because there weren't any solid spots left for them, even thru the day on Sunday. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and the thousands of people staying away from the airport around the city of Oshkosh in their big motorhomes will finally be able to get into Camp Scholler.
After getting some campground pictures, I made my way over to the other side of the airport where Sonex Aircraft was having an open house/lunch. It was a perfect opportunity for them to show off some of the progress they've made on some new aircraft. The biggest news came from a smaller airplane... the Onex. This single seat VW powered airplane is specifically designed to be inexpensive and very easy to store. The simple folding wing concept allows it to fit in some really small spaces.
Here John Monnett is showing the wing folding process. They've put a lot of work into making it all very simple to accomplish, and it was obvious that the good sized crowd on hand for the reveal was really impressed.
Here's a nice detailed look at the wing folding mechanism. It's still hard to tell what's really going on with the control linkages in the picture, but it seems to be based on the idea of a 'paddle' assembly in the inner panel and one in the outer panel. When the wing swings into place, the paddles make contact making it all very quick and easy. I'll have more details on this in another post.
You can see here that once they let the people up to the airplane, pretty much everyone wanted to look it over closely. It was cool that they let people try that roomy cockpit on for size too. It's designed for their AeroVee VW engine, which should make it a ton of fun to fly, especially since it's designed for 6 g's positive.
The airplane hasn't flown yet, and even after it does, they'll still have a lot to do to get it ready for kits to be sold. But this is a really promising design that should speak directly to the frustratingly high cost of flying... all while being both a great looking airplane with really good performance. I'm looking forward to keeping my eyes on this one!
They also had their electric Waiex rolled out to show off the progress made there. John explained some of the challenges they had in getting the power needed from a battery pack and the electronics that have had to be developed to make it all work effectively. It's gonna be very interesting to see how this all shakes out when they get around to putting it into the air. If I understood his comments about that, it might not be too long before they can do just that.
What made seeing the electric Waiex such a treat was that they ran the motor for a minute or so. After explaining the start-up procedure, and some of what is going on with the electronics, John spun the prop with the motor. It wasn't a high rpm display making a lot of thrust, but it proved that the system is all there. He also explained that they have a Jabiru 6 cylinder prop on the airplane and expect that the approximate 75 hp the motor makes will actually perform much more like the big Jabiru gas engine.
You can't beat the sight of a Cub with tents around it! As the day progressed, a lot of aircraft were able to finally get on the grounds. However, a lot of the grassy areas are still very wet and more drying is needed to be able to park all of the airplanes that want to be at Oshkosh.
Well, you just don't see a polished Cherokee 140 everyday, now do ya?
It was great to see the beautiful DC-7 arrive today. Here it's being towed into AeroShell Square. You can also see that even with all the rain troubles, there are a lot of people at Oshkosh before the event has even started.
This DC-7 is a real beauty!
This Falcon 50 with the freaky circular wingtip thingys (spiroids) was on the ramp in AeroShell Square. While they may look huge in this pic, they're not, but they aren't small either. I didn't really look that close at the size, but they seemed to be about 6' tall. Oh, and they're a tad weird : )
This was a great sight to see... several really beautiful Wittman Tailwinds already on the grounds at Oshkosh 2010. This is an airplane with fantastic performance and can be built pretty cheap. Oh, and it was designed in the early 1950's!
Here's a full view of the row of Tailwinds.
I'm not gonna lie... if I had buckets of cash, I'd definitely have a Pitts Model 12 : )
Here's an all wood Barracuda, a homebuilt design from the 1970's. It's both a pretty fast airplane, and it a great place to dry blankets!
More from the greatest place on Earth tomorrow as Oshkosh 2010 will officially get under way! I'm hoping to post some of the events of the day each night, so please stay tuned.